This time next week, the Bears will have made (or traded) their first draft pick, so the speculation can end. But until then, Bears fans will have to do exactly what the Bears staff is doing: guessing, studying and doing everything they can to be ready to pick the next Bears but ultimately coming to the conclusion that they have no idea what will happen next weekend.
So what do the Bears want?
-- A starting lineman: With their first pick, expect the Bears to go after an offensive or defensive lineman who can start immediately. The reason why Mike Tice is so high on Gabe Carimi is because he is polished and ready to play now. On the defensive side, the Bears have taken a close look at Marvin Austin to replace Tommie Harris at DT.
-- A mix of players: The lines have the biggest needs, but the Bears also need to ready players to take over for aging stars like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. The Jay Cutler trade sapped the Bears of picks from the last few drafts, and with several players becoming free agents (assuming the lockout ends), the Bears need bodies. That need for bodies has led to speculation that the Bears may trade away their first-round pick for more picks.
-- A third quarterback: Though he's a free agent, Caleb Hanie is expected to be Cutler's back-up. The Bears need someone behind him who they can develop. Their success rate on developing QBs is questionable, but that's another problem for another day. The first mission is to draft someone in a late round who can be a successful back-up.
-- Not wide receivers: Jerry Angelo isn't dazzled by this draft's corps of wide receivers. Even for a team that has languished without a No. 1 receiver for so long, the Bears don't see a wideout to fill that need in this draft.